Donald Trump's Official Portrait and the Language of Lighting

Discussion in 'Articles of Interest' started by tirediron, Nov 5, 2017.

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  1. pixmedic

    pixmedic The Mustached Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    disagree all you want, but rules are rules...
    you know, those things you agreed to follow when you signed up for the forum?


     
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  2. jaomul

    jaomul Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It would seem to me that the leader of any country and indeed said country would want the best possible portait within the specified limits, such as backgrounds needed as a high quality representation of the person.

    It's probably true that people who are not into photography or maybe art might not realize that these photos could indeed be better. I'm surprised that a photographer working at such a high level could not or did not do better. A few here have suggested how the shots could be improved. My question is why were they not better?
     
  3. waday

    waday Do one thing every day that scares you Supporting Member

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    Definitely not as the current portrait, which, as the article mentions, is rather sinister. I agree with @JonA_CT , probably something like Obama's or Macron's lighting.

    While I like Trudeau's and Merkel's, they look like corporate head shots to me. There's nothing tying them to their country, or them as a leader.

    That said, I'm not a fan of either of Obama's or Macron's posing. Obama's crossed arms make him look like he's putting up a barrier, and Macron's sitting-on-a-desk looks like a sleazy boss.
     
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  4. MSnowy

    MSnowy Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Did you take these photos?
     
  5. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    On CNN's website (rather than speculation? observations? by a photographer/blogger from whom PetaPixel managed to 'beg, borrow, or steal' as the saying goes, or repost or rewrite or whatever...) there's an article telling there were two different photographers who did the official portraits. Pence's portrait was done by his official photographer, D. Myles Cullen.

    Trump's portrait wasn't done til apparently August by Shealah Craighead. The gold frame you saw John in the photo (good eye, it's a portrait of Thomas Jefferson) as well as the wallpaper seems to show that the photo must've been done after the Oval Office was remodeled. The official portraits were commissioned by the US Government Publishing Office (which I didn't know we had) and will be distributed... etc. etc.

    If you do a search of Pete Souza Obama, and Shealah Craighead Trump, I think you'll see the differences. Ms. Craighead seems to be shooting from a distance and nothing much behind the scenes, which seems to show limited access and poor available vantage points. She also was the photographer for Laura Bush.
     
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  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Speaking of which; there was a photographer who __admitted__ that he shot unflattering portraits of U.S. Senator John McCain of Arizona, a few years ago. McCain has some skin issues, which the guy purposefully (so he said!) emphasiszed, because he did not like McCain.

    As far as these Trump shots go: they are simply NOT top-shelf work. Just.Are.Not.Very.Good.Presidential.Formal.Portraits. Lighting sucks. Posing is weak.Propping and sets are bad. I have this feeling that whoever shot the shots was rushed, or was simply NOT capable enough to make truly good portraits.
     
  7. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    'Whoever' did the official Presidential portrait is his official photographer, Shealah Craighead. Like I said, do a search of her current photos and those she did of Laura Bush when Mrs. Bush was first lady, and those done of Obama by her predecessor, Pete Souza.

    She seems to often have limited access and/or lousy vantage points, taking many photos from some distance or at odd angles. How much of her work is truly her style is probably better seen in her photos of Mrs. Bush.
     
  8. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Her story shows that it's far more important to have connections than mere talent and skill.
     
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  9. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Just to save everyone a lot of grief, I'm going to assume this thread has run its course.
     
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